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Repeatable Reverse Engineering with the Platform for Architecture-Neutral Dynamic Analysis

January 6, 2017

Ryan J. Whelan, Timothy R. Leek, Joshua E. Hodosh, Patrick A. Hulin, and Brendan Dolan-Gavitt

Many problems brought on by faulty or malicious software code can be diagnosed through a reverse engineering technique known as dynamic analysis, in which analysts study software as it executes. Researchers at Lincoln Laboratory developed the Platform for Architecture-Neutral Dynamic Analysis to facilitate analyses that lead to profound insight into how software behaves.

Diplomat: Using delegations to protect community repositories

December 21, 2016

Trishank Karthik Kuppusamy, Santiago Torres-Arias, Vladimir Diaz, and Justin Cappos

Community repositories, such as Docker Hub, PyPI, and RubyGems, are bustling marketplaces that distribute software. Even though these repositories use common software signing techniques (e.g., GPG and TLS), attackers can still publish malicious packages after a server compromise.

Stressing Out: Bitcoin “Stress Testing”

December 19, 2016

Khaled Baqer, Danny Yuxing Huang, Damon McCoy, and Nicholas Weaver

In this paper, we present an empirical study of a recent spam campaign (a “stress test”) that resulted in a DoS attack on Bitcoin. The goal of our investigation being to understand the methods spammers used and impact on Bitcoin users.

Secure and resilient distributed machine learning under adversarial environments

December 19, 2016

Rui Zhang and  Quanyan Zhu

Machine learning algorithms, such as support vector machines (SVMs), neutral networks, and decision trees (DTs) have been widely used in data processing for estimation and detection. They can be used to classify samples based on a model built from training data. However, under the assumption that training and testing samples come from the same natural distribution, an attacker who can generate or modify training data will lead to misclassification or misestimation.

FACID: A trust-based collaborative decision framework for intrusion detection networks

December 15, 2016

Carol J. Fung and Quanyan Zhu

Computer systems evolve to be more complex and vulnerable. Cyber attacks have also grown to be more sophisticated and harder to detect. Intrusion detection is the process of monitoring and identifying unauthorized system access or manipulation. It becomes increasingly difficult for a single intrusion detection system (IDS) to detect all attacks due to limited knowledge about attacks. Collaboration among intrusion detection devices can be used to gain higher detection accuracy and cost efficiency as compared to its traditional single host-based counterpart.

Proposed NY Cybersecurity Regulation: A Giant Leap Backward?

December 2, 2016


Judith Germano

Mid-November marked the end of the comment period for New York’s “first in nation” proposed cybersecurity legislation for financial institutions. As the hot topic of the day, many regulators and government officials have felt compelled to take a stand on cybersecurity. It seems counterintuitive to set out to protect constituents by inaction. But the wrong type of action, including through inflexible and far-reaching state required mandates, only adds to the growing clamor of distractions about how companies should best secure their systems.

Guest Editorial: Special Issue on Secure and Trustworthy Computing

December 1, 2016

Ozgur Sinanoglu and Ramesh Karri

There is a growing concern regarding the trustworthiness and reliability of the hardware underlying all information systems on which modern society is reliant. Trustworthy and reliable semiconductor supply chain, hardware components, and platforms are essential to all critical infrastructures including financial, healthcare, transportation, and energy.

FPGA Trust Zone: Incorporating trust and reliability into FPGA designs

November 24, 2016

Vinayaka Jyothi, Manasa Thoonoli, Richard Stern and Ramesh Karri

This paper proposes a novel methodology FPGA Trust Zone (FTZ) to incorporate security into the design cycle to detect and isolate anomalies such as Hardware Trojans in the FPGA fabric. Anomalies are identified using violation to spatial correlation of process variation in FPGA fabric.

Hardware Trojans: Lessons Learned after One Decade of Research

November 23, 2016

Kan Xiao, Domenic Forte, Yier Jin, Ramesh Karri, Swarup Bhunia, and Mark Mohammad Tehranipoor 

Given the increasing complexity of modern electronics and the cost of fabrication, entities from around the globe have become more heavily involved in all phases of the electronics supply chain. In this environment, hardware Trojans (i.e., malicious modifications or inclusions made by untrusted third parties) pose major security concerns, especially for those integrated circuits (ICs) and systems used in critical applications and cyber infrastructure.

Securing digital microfluidic biochips by randomizing checkpoints

November 17, 2016

Jack Tang, Ramesh Karri, Mohamed Ibrahim, and Krishnendu Chakrabarty

Much progress has been made in digital microfluidic biochips (DMFB), with a great body of literature addressing low-cost, high-performance, and reliable operation. Despite this progress, security of DMFBs has not been adequately addressed. We present an analysis of a DMFB system prone to malicious modification of routes and propose a DMFB defense based on spatio-temporal randomized checkpoints using CCD cameras.

You Can Yak but You Can’t Hide: Localizing Anonymous Social Network Users

November 16, 2016

Minhui Xue, Cameron Ballard, Kelvin Liu, Carson Nemelka, Yanqiu Wu, Keith Ross, and Haifeng Qian

The recent growth of anonymous social network services — such as 4chan, Whisper, and Yik Yak — has brought online anonymity into the spotlight. For these services to function properly, the integrity of user anonymity must be preserved. If an attacker can determine the physical location from where an anonymous message was sent, then the attacker can potentially use side information (for example, knowledge of who lives at the location) to de-anonymize the sender of the message.

What Is Cyber Collateral Damage? And Why Does It Matter?

November 15, 2016


Zachary K. Goldman and Sasha Romanosky

What happens when the consequences of a cyberattack are not physical? What happens when a digital missile destroys or corrupts data in a manner that is not intended by the person launching a lawful cyberattack? Current legal and policy frameworks for assessing collateral damage do not squarely address the matter (or at least they do not do so publicly)—and that needs to change.

Security engineering of nanostructures and nanomaterials

November 10, 2016

Davood Shahrjerdi, B. Nasri, D. Armstrong, A. Alharbi, and Ramesh Karri

Proliferation of electronics and their increasing connectivity pose formidable challenges for information security. At the most fundamental level, nanostructures and nanomaterials offer an unprecedented opportunity to introduce new approaches to securing electronic devices. First, we discuss engineering nanomaterials, (e.g., carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, and layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs)) to make unclonable cryptographic primitives.

Securing Software Updates for Automobiles

November 7, 2016

Trishank Karthik Kuppusamy, Lois Anne Delong and Justin Cappos

Software update systems for automobiles can deliver significant benefits, but, if not implemented carefully, they could potentially incur serious security vulnerabilities. Previous solutions for securing software updates consider standard attacks and deploy widely understood security mechanisms, such as digital signatures for the software updates, and hardware security modules (HSM) to sign software updates. However, no existing solution considers more advanced security objectives, such as resilience against a repository compromise, or freeze attacks to the vehicle’s update mechanism, or a compromise at a supplier’s site.

Security engineering of nanostructures and nanomaterials

November 7, 2016

Davood Shahrjerdi, Bayan Nasri, Darren Armstrong, Abduallah Alharbi, Ramesh Karri

Proliferation of electronics and their increasing connectivity pose formidable challenges for information security. At the most fundamental level, nanostructures and nanomaterials offer an unprecedented opportunity to introduce new approaches to securing electronic devices. First, we discuss engineering nanomaterials, (e.g., carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, and layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs)) to make unclonable cryptographic primitives.

CamoPerturb: secure IC camouflaging for minterm protection

November 7, 2016

Muhammad YasinBodhisatwa Mazumdar, Ozgur Sinanoglu, and Jeyavijayan Rajendran

This paper presents CamoPerturb, a countermeasure to thwart the decamouflaging attack by integrating logic perturbation with IC camouflaging. CamoPerturb, contrary to all the existing camouflaging schemes, perturbs the functionality of the given design minimally, i.e., adds/removes one minterm, rather than camouflaging the design.

Decision and Game Theory for Security: 7th International Conference, GameSec 2016

November 4, 2016

Quanyan Zhu, Tansu Alpcan, Emmanouil Panaousis, Milind Tambe, and William Casey

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2016, held in New York, NY, USA, in November 2016.

A Compact Implementation of Salsa20 and Its Power Analysis Vulnerabilities

November 1, 2016

Bodhisatwa Mazumdar, Sk. Subidh Ali, and Ozgur Sinanoglu

In this article, the authors present a compact implementation of the Salsa20 stream cipher that is targeted towards lightweight cryptographic devices such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.